Data Breach

267 million Facebook users’ data exposed online

Last updated:

Another day and another Facebook breach! Facebook has been hit by another data breach that puts hundreds of millions of users in harm’s way.

User IDs, phone numbers and names of 267 million Facebook users has been uncovered in a database that was being made available on a hacker’s forum as a downloadable file.

The database was found by Comparitech, who partnered with security researcher Bob Diachenko. They first indexed the database on December 4 but it is now no longer available.

Access to the database has since been removed, however, the records appeared to have been available without a password to anyone without authentication for two weeks before it was uncovered. A downloadable link to the data had also been posted to a popular hacker forum.

Though the database is no longer available online as of Thursday, it is possible that it was copied elsewhere prior to being taken down, Comparitech warned, noting that all the data appeared to be valid. 

They say the database wasn’t password protected and, in the words of Comparitech, ‘could be used to conduct large-scale SMS spam and phishing campaigns, among other threats to end users.’

Facebook has issued the following statement:

‘We are looking into this issue, but believe this is likely information obtained before changes we made in the past few years to better protect people’s information,’

Facebook spokesperson

Diachenko believes the database was compiled either by illegal scraping of data from within Facebook or abuse of the company’s API by Vietnam-based hackers. If so, it likely happened before 2018 when the company restricted the developer’s API access to phone numbers.

While scraping is against Facebook’s policies, it is fairly easy to do – especially if users have their profiles set to public. .’

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